PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For the past two months, hundreds of girls across the metro area have been meeting twice a week to build friendships, boost their body image and most importantly, to run.
The 3rd-5th graders at Bethany Elementary in Beaverton have been running laps after school for two months and this weekend they’re ready to go the distance at Saturday’s The ‘Girls on the Run’ 5K event.
“I think I will do good. I’m really excited for it,” 3rd grader Siyana Afzal tells KOIN 6 News.
“I’m fast and I just like running,” 5th grader Jensia Rodriguez says.
The running program lasts 10 weeks and leads up to Saturday’s 5K event. The girls are paired with volunteer running buddies on the course. This year, for the first time, anyone in the community can sign up to run.
“As we grow the program, we’re going to need more volunteers so this is a great way to introduce a future volunteer to the organization and what it’s about,” GOTR Executive Director Helen Leiser says.
“It’s really about these girls figuring out what their self values are and how they can negotiate and create peer partnerships with each other,” Leiser says.
“We learned about cooperating and how to be a better person,” Siyana says.
The run costs $35 and takes place at the Portland International Raceway starting at 9 a.m. You can sign up and learn more here.